Friday, December 22, 2006

Dec 22nd - 2 Feet of Snow

We got out just in time as old man winter has dumped 2 feet or more of snow in Rico, Denver has their share too. Just rainy, drizzly and damp here in Iowa. I stopped in Kansas on the way in and picked up a big load of beaded board, window and door drim and plinths and rosettes. I have arranged for the stripper to strip most of it sometime after the first of year. I heard from Greenbay and also received pictures which I will post here for all to see. Here's what he has to say:
Hey Dave,
All is well. We have blue skies today.

These are from tues. Just Pat and I so far this week. The weather has been
bad. Thanks for x-mas card!!! We have the first exterior door installed. (north
patio) Looks nice. We are scared of breaking red glass!
Moved wood stove back towards stone.
I moved my chopsaw setup to job. I hope to get nice
cuts on treads and risers.
The glue up has been a challenge. The temperature is
anything but stable in house as you know. We keep 2
fires going and put clamped treads near so we get a
good glue joint.
The temperature last night outside was 5 and only
dropped to 30 inside. Bakin'!
Packers are playing tonight...I am staying
home...imagine that.
Later GB

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dec 14th - Final Day

Today is our last day in Rico for some time and I am busy laying out details for Greenbay and Pat.
Bob Akey has also come buy and I have decided to hire him to help Pat complete the electrical rough in while I am gone. At least the hard part of drilling boxes and stringing wire into the logs is completed. Cody has come by and helped me unload the doors out of the tall crate. Greenbay, Cody and I manhandle the heavy crate and skid it down onto the trailer for our trip home. In the crate I have stashed our bicycles, spare tires and a 65 Harley Davidson Sporster I purchased from Bill. With the snow coming in soon, our window of opportunity for dry roads is small and we will leave first thing in the morning. This blog to be continued at a future date not long...for now I have to change gears and get us safely home.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dec 13th - Electrical Progresses

Greenbay has helped me pull wire up from the crawl space into the boxes in the living room. I have had to drill more holes for boxes for the outlets on the north wall. I have also had to fabricate an upright log to go in the opening for the wood storage area to the left of the fireplace. I manage to cut a channel and a box into the upright and install it. With some more wire we will have the living room completed. I stay late tonight working on more dropped soffit areas in the kitchen where we will install more recessed lights.

Greenbay continues on the stairs and spends a good part of the day removing a large stack of oak 2 x 10's to get to the lower stack of better 2 x10's. These will become the treads and risers for the stairs under construction.

We are getting ready for our move soon and we have to be out of the apt in the next few days. We are planning on leaving friday, but a big storm is due tomorrow night which may mean we have to stay longer. Lynn has been steadily getting things in the apt packed up. Today I found a place to rent when I return in February. It will be perfect for what I need, furnished and month to month. By spring, hopefully I can move into a portion of the house.

Dec.12th - Log Boxes

It's been a long day and all I have done is drill holes so I can install square electrical boxes in the log structure that has become the living room. Because the walls are around 5" thick I have to be very careful to not drill all the way thru the logs. I had the foresight to predrill the logs when we were stacking them last summer so we could fish wire down the channels. Now the time has come to test it and see if I can fish wire thru the logs. With some work and a new fish tape I am able to get a large amount of the wire into the channels for the kitchen.

Pat has been insulating between logs in the garage and building vertical enclosures for the water lines coming up through the garage. Later in the day he installs the nailers for the dropped soffits in between the kitchen beams. These have to be installed to cover plumbing for the 2nd floor and will also serve as channels to install recessed lights. Pat also installs 2 lights and then suddenly feels ill and has to head for home.

Greenbay continues to work on stair layout and has the the lower stringers cut and the upper stairs figured out for stringers. It's a tedious process that requires some essential planning so the stairs work out perfectly.

Hagan has finished the fireplace and it looks great. We have had wood burning in it all day. It draws well and only the mantle needs completion. I've stayed late tonight working on the electrical.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Dec 11th - Stairs Begin

It has been snowing since yesterday, so Pat begins by shoveling snow around the house and the walkways we need to maneuver around the house. Greenbay and I move sheets of foam inside the garage so Pat can complete the insulation on the concrete on the first floor. Pat completes the framing in the downstairs bath and several miscellaneous areas.

Greenbay begins the landing for the first floor stairs and figures out the layout for the stair stringers. We've uncovered the pile of 2 x 10 oak that we will use for the stair risers and treads.

I complete the duct work for both dryer vents and the master bath fan. I've also nailed up all the single boxes in the master and will be ready to run wire as soon as we get more in stock.

Hagen is close to finishing the fireplace and works on completing the hearth. He should wrap it up tomorrow.

Dec 10th - More Electrical

I've spent the day running more wire and installing boxes in the sunroom. It includes installing a 2x10 horizontal board to complete the rim joists overhead in the sunroom. I've also installed the remaining automatic plumbing vents at various places on the 2nd floor. I've run the 4 wire cable from the logs at the garage inside entrace all the way down into the crawl space for wiring the switches for the lower stair case. All the recessed lights are now completed on the 2nd floor and we are short on wire, staples and romex connectors. Bob is out of town and the material I need will not arrive until the day before I leave.

Tonight I have been working on detailed drawings of the stairways in the house. Hopefully they will help Greenbay lay out the stairs this week.

Dec 9th - A Little Excitement in Rico

Last night was the 2nd night this week that the cops have been called to Rico for a disturbance. Earlier in the week, someone was reported to be walking around on Glasgow Ave in his stocking feet. Trying to get into folk's cars and stopping traffic on the highway lands him in the clinker...

Last night at the Enterprise all hell breaks loose. One guy gets cut by a knife across the eye and a 3 inch stab wound in his back which just misses his kidney. Locals and out-of-towners, men and women involved. The front window and door of the Enterprise were smashed and lots of blood on the floor inside. Dolores County Sherrif, San Miguel County Sherrif and San Miguel Swat Team all got involved. A beer bottle through a car window hits a female in the head. One woman takes one of the men down with several kicks between the legs... 2 guys in jail, one in the hospital. Steph and Mark spend hours this morning cleaning up the mess, only in Rico...glad I wasn't there.

Pat and I cleared the remaining sheet metal off my trailer and moved it up by the house and
now the trailer is clear for our trip home. We've also cleaned up inside and later in the afternoon Pat and I knock out both bedrooms on the 2nd floor, installing the remaining light fixtures and drilling and pulling all the electrical wire.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dec 8th - Electrical Begins

Pat completed the interior details for the framing in the master bedroom today. The oak is so hard, very unforgiving and heavy to work with. Most of the material left is never quite straight and must be ripped down. I've given him a hand installing the final piece. We have more blocking to take care of, but it will require insulation to be installed between the rafters on the exterior walls.

Greenbay continues to work on the loft framing, where every stud cut is a different length. While it may not look like a lot of work, it's tedious building the short and sloped knee walls. By this weekend, the framing on the loft should be near completion.

This morning I removed a few stones from the fireplace and managed to attach a piece of conduit to the end of the vacuum cleaner hose. The extension allowed me to get into the hollow channel space behind the glass blocks on the fireplace and clean out the small amounts of mortar I discovered last night behind the glass. It's a difficult space to work in but I have now cleaned up the small amounts of mortar and resealed the end of the chase with tin and silicone. This will keep mortar from entering the space. I carefully attach the 2 old cast iron building stars to the the 2 stones Mike has cut and installed above the glass bricks. The fireplace and stove are both fired up and cranking out the heat and while it takes a while, by late morning it's comfortable working inside. Hagen should be back in a few days to finish up.

I've begun hanging recessed light fixtures downstairs and have been working with Lynn on the layout of the switches and outlets. It takes a lot of forethought to get this area set up. I've framed in a partial dropped ceiling in the downstairs 1/2 bath and then proceeded to cut a 4" round hole thru a 4" piece of micro-lam with a new hole saw. By evening I have the recessed light fixture in place as well as the bath fan. I have had to return 2 of the fans as they need to be wall mounted within a 6 inch space and the ones I have are for minimum 8" ceilings.

It will be a busy week ahead preparing for my trip back to Iowa and I am hoping the weather will hold.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dec 7th - Fishbowls and Fire

Greenbay has nearly completed the framing on the third floor and has also reorganized the lumber out back as well as the garage.

I spend a portion of the day preparing the water filter for installation and also hooking up the main shut off valve in the crawlspace. Pat has loaned me his torch and I do what little soldering I need to do to prepare the valve. I am a bit discouraged to find that there is some water in the pipe and while not much, it has the temporary valve we used to test the system last summer, frozen solid. I am hoping that the pipe isn't frozen below the surface of the gravel in the crawl space and I won't know until we actually turn the water on. I've also installed the shower valve in the 2nd floor bath and managed to install 4 recessed lights on the 2nd floor.

I have been helping Hagen place the glass blocks I cleaned earlier this morning. They look great but tonight before I leave, I find some of the mortar has dropped down in behind the glass blocks and so tomorrow we will have to remove a couple of stones and somehow vacuum the excess mortar out of the cavity. Hagen has also cut a couple of stones that Pat brought by and he's cut them in 11" squares. I have drilled a center hole in each stone with a masonry bit and
these stones will sit above the glass blocks and the mantle. Hagen will be close to wrapping up the stone work tomorrow.

So why is this post called Fishbowls and Fire...Mike Hagen's wife called today to tell Mike she smelled smoke in the house....ready for this. In a south window, there is a kid's fish bowl sitting on a table with some newspapers on the table. The sun hits the fish bowl just right and the convex shaped fish bowl appears to have become a magnifying glass and the sun pin points on the newspaper and the smoke appears on the newspaper. Luckily Mary was there and smelled the smoke. Mike said she kept the newspaper with the black burned hole in it... Only in Rico. Mike wonders what the insurance company would have said if he had told them the fish bowl burned his house down...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dec 6th - Plumbing Rough-in Complete

Today I've finished running all the water lines to their location from the manifold. Pat has helped me in the crawl space pull pipe into the old cabin. I've also completed the drain lines on the 3rd floor while Greenbay works on the framing for the 3rd floor loft. Pat has been working on finish framing in the master trying to prepare it for drywall as soon as the electrical and insulation are complete.

Hagen is coming along on the fireplace and tonight I have to take the glass blocks home and clean them up for tomorrow's installation. The stone he has used looks great and by tomorrow it should be close to being finished. Only the installation of the mantle remains on the fireplace. Mike has even lit a fire and it draws perfectly.

Chris has come by to take a look at installing the entire heating system. I hope to have the bid this week.

Pat and I stay late tonight cleaning up and trying to organize some. It's amazing how quickly I can make a mess...I think Lynn will agree.

Dec 5th - Lumber Run

I spent the morning making a list of items we need in Cortez. Lynn and I take off for Cortez with several stops along the way.

We stop at Val's place in Dolores and Lynn takes the truck to the market while I search out the lumber I need to build the stair stringers and landings. Wider dimension lumber is scarce in Val's yard and so it takes me a while to find what I need. One piece I find is dry and weathered and 25' long. Luckily I've brought my tree saw and cut it down to length to fit in the truck.

With a stop at Standard Plumbing and Slavens I finish my list while Lynn picks up supplies at Wal-Mart. We head back to Rico.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dec 4th - Crawlin' in Space

I've spent 4 hours in the crawl space this morning drilling through floor joists. I have a number of PEX water lines to run in the crawl space. While there is enough space to crawl around it's still not an easy job and my knees aches from the gravel. I also had to pull my boots off quickly a number of times when my feet cramped. Pat comes down into the crawl space now and helps me pull pipe through the many holes I've drilled. By days end I've run most of the water lines and used up all 1200 feet of pipe. I will need another 200 feet to finish the job.

Pat has been up in the master framing the linen closet and completing the blocking for the siding. It's my goal to complete the master first so that when I come back in February, I can actually move into this part of the house. Hagen has also started laying stone for the face of the fireplace. It won't be long and we will be setting the glass blocks in the face of the fireplace. It looks coming soon.

Tonight we have stayed late and Pat and I manage to nail up all the electrical boxes on the 2nd floor. I will start drilling and running wire tomorrow.

Dec 3rd - Plumb Crazy

Today I've spent most of the day drilling and pulling the PEX tubing thru floor joists and walls. It's freezing in the house most of the day and the old pot belly barely keeps up. Using a right angle drill can be tough as the drill bits and hole-saws have a tendency to catch and when they do, you had better be hanging on, but letting go of the trigger. On more than one occasion the drill catches and nearly breaks my wrist.

Lynn has come by to help me pull the pipe through the holes I've drilled while I push. It's a big help, especially when the distances are long. Before long the strands of blue and red pipe are sticking out of the walls and floors all over the 2nd & 3rd floor. My arms and shoulders ache from the overhead drilling and pipe pulling at the end of the day.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dec 2nd - Fireplace Details

Greenbay has showed up for a few hours to work on more framing up on the 3rd floor.

Today I have to prepare the old cast iron clod buster wheels that I have cut up in sections and get them ready to bolt up to the masonry structure of the fireplace. It's difficult to attach the odd shaped iron brackets to the masonry wall, but I manage to using Tapcons and a masonry bit. I also have a short section of the wheel that I will have Hagen install horizontally that will act as a hanger for fireplace tools. It will mount on the stone in between the fireplace and the backside of the fireplace where the dining room wood stove will end up.

Today I have unhooked the wood stove and moved it away from the wall so that Hagen will have room to work. Pat has donated a section of stove pipe and I hook it back up and not long after I have a hot fire going trying to warm up the chilly house that is about 10 degrees inside. I have chosen a nice thick wide handhewn oak slab for a mantel and cut it to length. Using Pat's metal brake, I fabricate some galvanized sheet metal channels that will hold the antique glass bricks I have selected to use on the face of the fireplace as well as behind the wood stove.

I also managed to dig out of one of the crates, some old cast iron building stars that I will have Hagen attach to the face of the fireplace. I have picked out some square stones at Pat's that we will drill a hole in the center of to attach the stars. The antique glass bricks are some I found years ago in a salvage yard in Helena Montana. They came out of the old Anaconda Copper Company's factory office that was torn down a number of years ago. I had nearly 1,000 of them and have enjoyed using them on different projects. The particular ones I have chosen for this project are ones that are much different than the others. They are dark green, amethyst and clear, 2" thick and 6" square, with an impressed line about 2/3rds up the side. The corners are chipped. My intention in having the glass bricks installed in the fireplace face and I will run rope lights through conduit I have routed through the masonry structure. The lights will lay in the channel and light the old antique glass blocks and will give a nice touch to the downstairs rooms.

Dec 1st - It's A Small World

Last night we got a knock on the door from Lynda who runs the hotel. She informed me that someone who knew me was in the restaurant and wanted to buy me a drink. I met Todd and Nadine Webber in the restaurant and while I had never met them, they have been customers of mine for a number of years. The question came up on how they found me. On their way back to Prescott, AZ from Paonia, CO, they had decided to spend the night at the Rico Hotel. Last night had been Noel Night in Rico and the local businesses were open on Main Street and a considerable amount of people were out on the street. Lynda had recommended they take a walk out on the street. There they met Ken Hazen, a long time resident of Rico, who wanted to know where they were from. When they told him Prescott, Arizona, he informed them that another couple living in Rico was also from Prescott. Yes, they knew this couple! and had been friends with them for over 30 years and had raised families together, but had never visited their friends here.

Ken hooked them up with their friends Kim and Mick McClain who we had just met a week ago. In a conversation, Mick mentioned to Todd that a neighbor Dave (me) owned a truck like his old Dodge Power Wagon. Todd had asked Mick where I was from and when he told him Iowa, Todd realized he knew who I was! Into our conversation further, I find he is also good friends with my close friends Jack and Lynn Garner, who also live in the Prescott area as well! Small world out there!

Today they come for a visit to the house and I find out we are invited to a dinner party at Kim and Micks tonight. We enjoy all their company thoroughly.

Today at the house, I have been drilling for the final stages of plumbing on the 3rd floor. I have to get the final drain lines drilled and up through the floor. Bob Akey comes by today with details on light fixtures he will be ordering for me next week. His years of experience as a master electrician will help me out a whole lot.

Greenbay and Pat are working on many of the small framing details on the upper levels of the house. They leave early to help Greenbay repair a tire. Also another neighbor, Fraser stops by to see what I'm up to. Hagen has also showed up with a load of the stone for the final veneer of stone on the fireplace. This means I will have to once again shift gears and do some necessary prep work on the fireplace.

Nov 30th - Warm Board - Cold Night

Today Pat, Greenbay and I started and completed the installation of the warm board on the 3rd level loft. The left over warm board was to be used on the original cabin floor but since we needed the warm board in this area to complete the framing, I've decided to use the remaining sheets and scraps up on the 3rd level. It takes some careful planning on my part and after making a sketch we are able to complete the entire 3rd level with only 1/2 a sheet of warm board remaining. I stay a bit later to figure how I will route the lines on the floor. It's a tall stair well opening at 27 feet high and lots of ladder climbing is required to maneuver from one floor to the next.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nov 29th - Cold, Cold, Cold

The temperature has been steadily dropping into the single digits today. We can at least work inside. Pat has been up in the master framing the loft area over the hallway and installing blocking for the vertical siding to go up on the house at a later date.

Greenbay and I have been working on the floor framing and have been installing the rough sawn exposed rim joists. These you will see from different vantage points on the 2nd floor and will provide a base for the 3rd floor walls to be installed. As you look up at the knee walls from these rooms you will see old rusty corrugated metal we have pulled from the roof of the cabin. I think it will look great. We will have partially vaulted ceilings in all the 2nd floor rooms and then a small storage area located over the shower and laundy on the 2nd floor and accessible from the room above.

It is near zero tonite and Murphy, Pat's dog, appears to want to stay at the house. Pat has gone to Cortez as has his wife, Darcy, and I am not sure if Murphy can get in. Even with the stove going full blast, I begin to worry about Murph, wondering if he will be warm enough. At 11 pm I return to the house. Murphy is curled up by the fire, but the stove is nearly out. I stoke it, plug an electric heater in for him and leave.

The wind has really picked up around midnight and is howling. With a strong north wind our apt. cools off unbelivable quickly and by morning the temp inside is around 50 degrees and it feels very cold. The air temp outside is close to 10 below and with the wind chill was around 25 below zero.

Nov 28th - Blizzard

It has been snowing all day with blowing snow. We have at least 12" on the ground and it is drifting and blowing everywhere. We haven't had much wind lately but today is exceptional and anywhere the snow can find a way in, it does. When we walk into the house our plastic drapes have let a ton of snow pile up in the house. Greenbay works only a few hours to make some temporary OSB doors. We use bungy cords to make them self closing. Pat has been shoveling snow most of the morning so we can at least traverse around the house and in through the doors. I spend most of the morning cleaning up piles of snow throughout the house and stuffing cracks with insulation scraps from fiberglass batts. Even with the stove going full blast, the house is still very cold but at least warm enough to work in. We staple up plastic wherever we can to fill holes and keep the wintry blast outside.

I am having trouble with my rib cage hurting as well as some tendonitis in my elbows making it tough for me traverse even a simple ladder. The boys recommend I see Holly Bennett who does acupuncture, homepathic remedies and massage. I feel so much better having paid her a visit.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nov 27th - Let It Snow

The sun was shining this morning but there are predictions out for a big snow storm. There are some things I want done before the snow comes. Pat is up on the roof between the chimney and the master installing some trim boards above the metal siding. It's a tough place to get into with a dry roof, but with snow coming we have to complete it. Greenbay helps him cut the necessary trim boards he needs to complete the job.

I have spent the morning down on the north cabin installing the metal skirting around the foundation and bottom logs. It comes out nicely and a large piece of plastic tacked above on the wall helps protect me from the wind which has now picked up. The sky is clouding up. Greenbay leaves before lunch to get to the bank in Telluride as this window will probably be the only one for a few days, especially if you don't have 4wd. Lynn has taken my truck to Cortez to shop for food and pick up the loft windows at the glass company. About the time she arrives back in Rico, the snow begins, light falling at first, but as the afternoon progresses the intensity picks up.

Greenbay and Pat have installed the first of two remaining windows on the north wall of the master. With the final window to install, we find the size is wrong for the opening. Upon inspection it appears to be a tempered glass window for the bathroom. Up on the scaffold, I remove the window that was just installed and Pat and I move into the master. This leaves us one final new window and we must now change the framing and install a new header over the window that is longer. Within an hour or so, Pat has the tear out and new framing completed. He steps out onto the scaffold and we install the last window.

With the oncoming storm, it's now time to button up the rest of the house with plastic over the door openings. One final thing I want to do is insulate the floor of the bay window and install the treated plywood underneath so we aren't laying in a foot of snow. At 5 p.m. Pat is nailing on the plywood underneath.

I am inside sharpening some hand tools for Mary Jane. Pat takes off for Cortez to do some shopping and drop off her tools on the way down. Half an hour later Pat returns and has decided not to go tonite as the roads are bad and traffic is at a crawl down the highway to Dolores. He turns around and comes home...good thing as tonite the wind is howling and the snow coming down like crazy.

No traffic on the highway and only the plows are out. Forecast shows snow for the next two days. I am relaxed tonight with a new sense of ease. Other than some missing doors we are officially dried in and now ....let it snow.

Nov 26th - Roof Completed

I can hardly believe it but today at 5:30 Pat and I completed the roof. We started this morning by completing the fascia on the front of the cabin and then Pat and I installed the necessary flashing. Pat has been on the roof all day and once again I can't say how thankful I am that he loves being on the roof. Soon we are installing the final roof panels on the south side of the roof and we finally come to the final roof panel. Pat installs the ridge cap and the rake flashings and we are done. I have added a few more screws in the flashing on the dining room bay window and we are done for the day. It's good we finished when we did as tomorrow there is a major winter storm coming in..

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nov 25th - Dried In

Pat and I have spent today completing the drying in of the cabin roof. Once the thin layer of plywood has been applied to old roof spaced sheeting, he has applied the felt paper over this and completed the vapor barrier. Next the 2 x 10 rim joists are applied on the south side of the roof and these will create the border for the insulated panels. I spend most of the day cutting the insulated panels and de-icing the necessary edges of the panels that go up against the 2 x10's.

We are now on the final sheets of the insulated panels and my figures on how many panels were needed were really close. Near the top of the roof I have had to use remaining scraps to complete the installation and considering we had over 2,000 sq ft of roof area, we have only small scraps left after the job is complete. Pat buttons the roof up with another layer of bithuthane and felt. We have 3 fascia boards to install and the installation of the metal to finish. Tomorrow we hope to have the entire structure completed with steel with only the porchs remaining to frame and roof.

I have a muscle around the left side of my ribs that has been giving me fits and is slow in healing making it difficult for me to make certain motions. I am hoping it will get better soon. Since tomorrow is Sunday, we hope to have some quiet work inside once the roof is on and hopefully I can get further along on running the water lines. Our timing looks good on the roof as a major snow storm is expected this week...More pictures coming soon.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Nov 24th - Cabin Gets A Roof

Pat and Bill have come today and we have started on the cabin roof again. We first complete the insulated panels on the north side of the roof. We have also added the main fascia board on the north side of the cabin. Pat has cut the steel for the north side of the roof. Bill and I begin the fascia for the south side and then apply the plywood on top of the space sheeting. I have to notch the oak beam and post on the southwest corner of the new section of house. This has to be completed before the side wall flashing can be installed. I've managed to split my finger open in the process and several hours later, Bill slices his finger on some staples inside his tool pouch.

Later in the afternoon it begins to look like snow up on the mountain, but none is in the forecast. A bit later the snow starts to come down and Pat is still on the roof. Hurriedly we get the remaining felt tacked up on the south side of the roof. With only 3 more pieces of plywood to go we will be done, but the snow is coming and it has to get covered. Bill and I drag the reinforced plastic up on the roof for Pat who pulls it over the north side of the roof. We have learned that the snow doesn't slide so well off the roof when there is paper and cleats. Hopefully it will be clear tomorrow and then by pulling the plastic off, the entire roof is clear of snow and ice.

Once Pat and Bill leave, I head back upstairs to install the remaining water lines in the master. While the PEX is easy to install, the much harder task is drilling through some of the floor joists.
The TJI's are much easier because they have knock-outs installed about every 16". Simply hitting them with a hammer, they pop out nicely and make a perfect hole for installing a couple of water lines.

The PEX tubing is nice because it requires no tape measure... just run the pipe along the route you need, hook up the 4 piece fitting to the Manabloc manifold, which is a simple procedure, and then install the necessary plug or angle fitting where the pipe is to be attached to the fixture. By evening, I have completed all the water lines to the master.

Nov 23rd - I mean roofing..

It's Thanksgiving day and we will have dinner at the Rico Hotel. Lynda and Aemon run the restaurant which opens tonite for the weekends. We always look forward to one of his famous 5 star chef meals... but in the meantime work goes on at the house. Only Greenbay has come up today and we get in a few hours of work before a neighbor asks us to be quiet around noon. With an open roof it is difficult to stop, but we do and cover the roof up with plastic. A big storm is brewing for next week and I have to get the roof on the cabin completed.

Lynn has done a thorough house cleaning and sweep up of the entire house which was desparately needed. At least you can walk around in the house without tripping on scrap wood. She has even cut up remaining scrap and stacked it on the wood pile in the house. The wood pile outside continues to grow and there is at least a couple of cords of scrap wood on the ground.

After lunch we start running more PEX water lines up into the master. I figure if I can work on it a little every day, especially after everyone has gone home, I should have it completed in a few weeks. Today, I complete the water lines to the master vanity and and toilet.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Nov 22nd - Roof On

Pat has completed the entire roof over the master bedroom with all the steel needed. It is indeed a relief that the weather has held and is still holding with warm and sunny weather continuing.

I have gone up on the road by the mill to get a small 4' piece of lodge pole pine to use to patch two of the rafter upper ends that had been cut out for a brick chimney years ago on the old cabin. Up on the road above the mill, which isn't maintained this time of year, I drive past the old landmark Douglas Fir Tree; probably the only surviving old growth timber in the area. This one was saved because it was used as a survey marker. At the base it is around 5' in diameter and who knows how old. A little farther up, I find a fallen dead pine and I cut the small section out of the tree and head back into Rico.

Something is making a noise under my truck and I stop on the main road only to find my right rear tire has been cut by a protruding rock and completly ruined. I've never had a flat on the truck before and proceed to change it out with my spare. Luckily I have a spare with me and I find that the wheel wrench is the wrong size. I happen to have my tool box with me and a spare socket that fits. It turns out this little hunk of dead timber not only cost me some time but a new tire as well. When I return to the house, I find it's a common incident losing tires up on the mill road...and part of living up here.

Greenbay and Bill continue on the old cabin, installing fascia on the north side as well as some old thin weather plywood I have to go over the space sheeting on the roof. Portions of the plywood need to look old as the sheeting on the inside will be exposed. Near the end of the day, Pat joins them and they have a portion of the 2 x 10 rim joists and roof panels installed on the north roof.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nov 21st - Roof Off

I have helped Pat move steel up on the roof. He will be close to finishing the roof today. How he can continue to stay on the roof all day is still hard to understand, but he seems to love it. By tonite the roof is completed except for the ridge cap.

Bill and Greenbay have completed tearing off all the old tin and cedar shingles from the old cabin. We have had to remove one piece of the skip sheeting on the roof because of some old holes cut for a stove pipe. Thousands of square headed nails have to be removed from the sheeting. This indicates that the shingles are probably original and still intact after 125 years which is amazing. I've kept the old tin and stacked it along the fence and hope to use it somewhere in the house at a later date.

I have continued on with preparing the north wall of the north cabin for tin along the bottom. This will keep the weather out. I have installed the two foundation vents as well as the insulation. I'll be ready for the steel tomorrow.

After hours, I tackle a broken PVC pipe fitting in the crawl space that I managed to break while installing water lines. It takes me nearly an hour to get the fitting out without breaking the larger fitting it was originally glued into. I also add a vent for the floor drain in the mechanical room. I return home late.......Lynn's return is evident as I open the door to delicious smells of a hot cooked meal.

Nov 20th - Errand Boy

I have had numerous errands to run in Cortez, Dolores and finally Durango where I've gone to pick up Lynn at the airport. We have returned home late.

Meanwhile, Greenbay and Pat have completed the fascia on the master and installed the neccessary flashings. Everything is ready for steel now.

Nov 19th - Man-a-bloc

I've begun the installation of the water lines today. I have had to complete the foam insulation on the walls where the Manabloc will be mounted. This device distributes water to each appliance with the same pressure. Without the use of branch lines and in-line tees, the Manabloc is a great improvement over copper water lines. Not only does the pressure remain constant, but installation takes a fraction of the time. I've installed a piece of 3/4" plywood on the wall, attached the Manabloc and then drilled holes through the floor joists and run supplies to the 1st floor 1/2 bath.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Nov 18th - More Roof Panels

Bill has completed the bituthane around the south master windows and Greenbay helps him get the aluminum scaffold moved to the north side. Pat, once again spends the day on the roof, while Greenbay and Bill prepare the roof panels to go up on the roof. By the end of the day, Pat has completed the installation of the roof panels on the north side of the roof.

I have been completing the rough cut rim joists over the 2nd floor bedrooms. I've also capped the top of the interior walls with 2 x 6's so we will have nailers for the drywall on the ceilings. I have been working on preparing the entire floor system for the 3rd floor. It's my hope that how I frame it will make a difference in how quickly the flooring and drywall will go in.

Nov 17th - Skylights

The skylights have arrived today and Pat and Greenbay hoist them onto the roof. Pat continues to apply steel and build all the flashings around the skylight. It's a tedious process that requires attention to detail to make sure that the skylights on the metal roof don't leak.

Bill has been completing the framing for the floor system and installing the TJIs upstairs over the 2nd floor. The framing is coming together nicely. Bill and I have moved several piles of lumber to get access to the pink foam I will need to finish insulating the concrete wall and the outer logs around the foundation. We have restacked much of the lumber both out front and out back so we will have better access.

I have been up in the master preparing the flashing and framing for the windows. Greenbay and I spend the afternoon getting the the 3 south windows installed.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nov 16th - More Steel

It's warmed up to 50 degrees today and time to tackle more roofing. I've moved 6 24' sheets to the edge of my trailer and started the gas powered cut off saw to cut through the stack. They need to be cut twice as the sheets are a bit too long. Pat and R.D. are once again on the roof completing the fascia on the south edge of the roof. They have managed to complete about 1/2 of the south side with steel including installing a roof jack for the main plumbing vent. The steel is not only heavy in weight, but in gauge, making it difficult and time consuming to cut. I have an old circular saw that was on its last leg and we've used it for cutting steel with a carbide metal blade. It's finally bit the big one. I toss it into the dumpster and hence the cut off saw. The stacks of metal also have to be drilled and my cordless Dewalt drill bites it too. Must be something in the stars.

Greenbay and Bill are inside and have nearly completed the framing and layout for the floor system on the 3rd floor. Tomorrow we should be ready for warm board inside. Hopefully we will get some insulated panels up tomorrow as well.

This afternoon, I've decided to work on beginning the installation of the same steel panels that will protect the lower part of the house around the foundation. Here in snow country, the snow sliding off the roof can pile high on the north side of the house. I remember spending my first night in the cabin back in 1994 on Memorial Day. There was still snow drifted to the roof at the end of May. The existing cabin has no windows on the north side, but both of the old cabins we have reconstructed have one north window. If I don't get the metal in now along the base of the cabins, it will be spring before I can attempt it. The 2 north windows will require shutters that will help keep the snow out and protect the windows from snow sliding off the roof.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Nov 15th - Digging Out

I have had a ton of paperwork to take care of this morning and afternoon and it seems like I haven't done much today. I have been working on proofing the new Vintage Power Wagon's catalog last night until midnight and didn't get my quota for sleep which doesn't help.

R. D. has come back for a few more days of work before he leaves for the holiday. I had him stop at Timberline Hardware in Telluride and pick up a snow rake for me. I hadn't seen these before but they are great. Using extendable aluminum handles that lock together up to 30', the flat aluminum pan on the end with small rubber wheels pulls snow off the roof. We have to get the snow off the north side of the master so the ice can disappear when it warms up. We still have one whole side of the roof to complete the insulated panels on.

Pat has completed the final framing of short knee walls above the bath and master closet upstairs while R.D. has been pulling and pushing snow from the roof. Once he is finished, I go out front and start pulling snow from our metal roofing pile as well as any other materials we will need to complete the roof and floor framing for the 3rd floor under the main roof. It's hard work and I have forgotten just how much fun shoveling snow is.

Later in the afternoon I have completed all the vent lines up to the peak of the roof. Once the roof is ready I have to extend a 3" vent line through the roof and attach the pipe flashing. This is the highest point of the roof.

Pat and R.D. are out on the scaffold on the south side of the house attaching the fascia boards that I picked up in Dolores. We have installed a propane heater inside the master and hopefully after the heat is on, the snow on the north side of the roof will melt.

Greenbay and Bill are on the inside and Greenbay has laid out and installed the rim joists for the 3rd floor. Bill has spent a good part of the day filling in framing between the top log of the garage and the warm board above. This will help make solid the entire structure. The top of the log is far from straight and very curved and so it takes some time to complete it.

Warm weather due tomorrow and we certainly need it. I need to get the roof finished. Was going to take more photos tonight and camera batteries are dead. I will replace them and take more tomorrow.

Nov 14th - Let it Snow...

The snow has been coming down most of the day and by evening we have nearly a foot of snow on the ground with blowing and drifting snow around the house nearly 2' deep in places. Luckily we have the wood stove fired up and the first floor is very warm, but above on the 2nd and 3rd levels, it's still breezy and cold with so many air leaks unplugged.

Bill has been installing blocking all day on the 2nd floor walls using up our scrap 2 x4's. The blocking will provide a solid nailing surface for the vertical siding to be installed on the outside of this portion of the house.

Pat has completed attaching the treated lumber to the concrete wall near the stairway and has started filling in between the studs he has shot to the wall with the foam insulation scraps we have around. We need more, but right now they are buried in the snow.

I have been up on the 3rd level framing interior walls for the master suite and when Pat finishes down below he comes up to give me a hand. We have pre-drilled many of the studs for horizontal vent lines which are normally much harder to feed pipe through as well as drill holes for. Some extra planning at this stage makes the job go easier. I complete the gluing of the PVC pipe and fittings in the master bath, but not before I manage to kick over the can of purple pipe primer on the floor. Some rags and it's wiped up quickly, but the fumes linger. Framing these upper walls has strengthened the entire structure and I add a solid 4 x4 post above the north/south oak beam that will support the main east/west ridge beam.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nov 13th - Inside Framing

It is snowing again this morning and there isn't any way we can work outside. Greenbay and I have shifted the work to laying out the master walls for the bath and closet. We make some headway and then after lunch Greenbay is MIA...I guess we will find out where he was tomorrow. I have finished setting up one of the walls where plumbing will be installed inside the wall. Knowing where the pipes run helps me plan where to drill holes in the wall for the vent lines.

Pat is downstairs in the mechanical room and bath completing the framing so we can install electrical wire and complete the water lines which I hope to start on next week. Pat is really a jack of all trades and seems to handle anything I give him. I have enjoyed working with him.

Bruce drops by and does a major clean up of the house and cleans our tool room which has desperately needed some attention.

The garage door guy has shown today which surprised me because of the weather. He completes the installation of the garage door with the applied metal I have supplied. Within months the metal should begin to rust just like the roof.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nov 12th - Snow Bound

It started snowing during the night and then snowed off and on this morning. By noon the sun is out and the snow is starting to melt. We received about 6". This is the most snow little Max has ever seen, being a Florida dog. He's like a little snow plow pushing his way through the snow drifts. Being a little dirty, his white hair stands out against the snow.

I've spent the day at the house, with the wood stove burning while working on completing the drain lines. Most of the work I have to do is laying out and installing the drains up to the master suite located above the garage. This week we will get the interior framing installed in the master and I can continue with the plumbing up through the roof.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Nov 11th - Fire It Up

This morning is cold and when I show up at the house, I decide to fire the wood stove up. Within minutes the smoke is pouring out of the new chimney and the old Cub pot belly stove is putting out the heat with only a small amount of wood. By now all the wood scraps have created a large pile of at least a full cord of wood. I also have a huge stack inside the living area waiting to keep the place warm.

Bill and I have given the place a good house cleaning and make sure that the tarps are covering all the different piles of lumber. Snow and/or rain coming in tonight. Bill completes the Tyvek for the entire house this morning and then heads off for the Grand Canyon.

Pat is up on the roof once again. Today he completes the entire main section of the roof and finishes any last minute covering of the master suite with felt paper. We prepare for the oncoming storm. I've gone up to the master suite and covered the window openings the best I can to prevent as much of the storm as possible from entering the building. Later in the afternoon I complete the plumbing on the 2nd floor and begin the plumbing the drain lines from the garage up to the master suite. Hopefully a few more days and I will have the drain lines completed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nov 10th - Green Bay Bridge

It's time to bring up the insulated panels onto the roof which has proved challenging. Before, when we were installing the panels, we simply moved them up onto the master suite floor and then hoisted them up onto the roof. Now, with the walls on the master suite up and the roof enclosed, we have to figure out a way to get the panel up over the overhang and onto the roof. While not too heavy, they are bulky. Greenbay has devised a simple bridge or crane using some 2 x 4's nailed onto the peak of the roof. We have borrowed Mike Hagen's large pulley and rope he uses for hoisting buckets of mortar to high elevations. We drill a hole in each panel attach the rebar hook through the panel and then pull the rope and watch the panel find its way to the top of the roof. We call his device the Green Bay Bridge.

Today is payday and usually several of my help leave early to take care of banking needs since there is no bank or ATM in Rico. Still they have managed to attach panels and complete the south side of the roof. Pat, as usual, is on the roof helping R.D. screw the panels into the rafters below.

Bill and I have to ready the garage door opening for the installation of the garage door on Monday. We have had to attach flat rough cut 2 x 6's to the inside of the jamb which will accept the garage door track. A simple job in most cases, but here, dealing with inconsistent thicknesses of logs makes the job tougher and we have to notch the logs all the way down the edge of the trim board so they fit tight against the jamb. Bill has also been completing the final sections of Tyvek in areas on the house. Hopefully by tomorrow we will have that job completed as well as a few small sections of steel on the roof finished.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Nov 9th - Getting Closer

R. D. and Greenbay have completed the dry in on the roof over the master. Greenbay continues cutting two holes in the roof as I have decided to add to fixed skylights to allow more light in the room.

R.D. and I have added some bracing for the aluminum scaffold on the south side of the master. R.D. is on the roof again, along with Greenbay, and near the end of the day they have nearly completed the rim joist.

I have the great job of using the SIPS hot knife for cutting the edge of the stryofoam panels. The fumes are bad enough that no one wants to be around when the cuts are being made and so with my mask on, I make the cuts on 6 panels to begin the process of getting the roof dried in. Weather is coming soon and we need to get the panels up as quickly as possible tomorrow.

Pat continues on the roof and has it nearly buttoned up. The flashing has been particularly time consuming but he has done a superb job flashing against the master suite wall and fireplace. With another couple of hours we will be complete on the roof. We've picked up Pat's metal brake and used my new power shear for cutting metal and bending it into the flashings we need.

Gary from Adams Overhead Door has stopped by to pick up the steel to face the garage door which will be installed next week. Bob Aikey has also stopped by to give me some direction for installing boxes and wire for the electrical system. Being a master electrician, he will be sure I get the work done properly for our inspection.

Tonight I have stayed late and Greenbay drops by and helps set up our new work lights. By the time I quit for the day I have the entire 1st floor completely plumbed with drain lines up into the 2nd floor. The drain for the washer is now installed as well as the drain for the shower.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nov 8th - Master Suite Ceiling

R. D. and Greenbay have begun the task of nailing down the ceiling liner or decking that will be exposed in the master suite above the oak rafters. These are the heart pine slabs we had been working on straight lining. While Greenbay cuts, R.D. nails the panels on and when enough courses are completed, he rolls out 30 lb. felt paper on the top.

By evening, the south side of the roof is complete and dried in and about 2/3 of the north side is completed. Tomorrow we will actually have this portion dried in. The ceiling liner looks great as you can see from the photo.

Pat is up on the roof all day completing the chimney flashing and attaching more roof metal. He has also started cutting and installing some aged galvanized siding material that were old panels from the addition we tore off months ago. Since the main roof is not much lower than the master roof, we think it best to side the exposed portion of the west wall of the master with metal instead of wood siding. If the snow sits on the roof, short pieces of wood siding could easily be buried in snow.

Bill and I spend the morning installing the 2 hand hewn oak posts at the rear of the garage. These posts support the cantilevered large beam which ultimately supports the entire east wall of the master bedroom. After lunch we install the 3 garage windows which now aren't in danger of being water damaged since the roof is nearly dried in.

The weather continues to hold and what a beautiful warm sunny day today. With another 10 days of this we could be completely dried in with metal on the roofs and windows and doors installed.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nov 7th - Before and After

Sometimes I get discouraged and feel like things aren't going quickly enough but when I view some of the photos taken 3 1/2 months ago, I don't feel so bad. I thought you might like to see the progress during that period by comparing these two photos....

Nov 7th - Up On The House Top...

Hagen has completed the stonework on the chimney and it looks fabulous. I am thoroughly pleased with the way it looks and Pat has done a fine job of installing the flashing under the stone. R. D. has spent a good part of the day helping Pat tear off Hagen's work platform from the north side of the roof. Pat had sturdily built it himself to hold a stone mason and a lot of rock. Now it's time for it to come off. R. D. and Pat continue on the roof and by the end of the day the north side of the roof is close to being completed. Pat will complete the main section of the roof and hopefully the weather will hold for at least another day. We have been so fortunate with the weather these days and it makes such a difference in progress.

Bruce has arrived this afternoon and I have him clean out the attic of the cabin of all the used lumber that has been sitting up there since summer. Most of it is short and I have had him stack all the short lumber inside the crate where the leaded glass windows had been sitting. It makes a perfect area to store the short boards that we will be needing later on.

Greenbay and I have completed all the roof framing for the master suite and it's now ready for decking which is also ripped down now to a consistent width. It should go fairly quickly tomorrow and weather permitting, we should actually be dried in by tomorrow night and ready for the rim joists for the insulated panels. Hopefully, within a week we will have the steel roof on over the master suite. It has been an exceptionally difficult roof to frame even with a simple layout as the rafters are solid oak and each fastener must be pre-drilled because the oak is so hard. The old oak rafters look great and are of great quality dried white oak.

Bill has helped R. D. and me install the final leaded glass window in the main part of the house and the first and 2nd floor are now complete with all the windows. Only the master suite and garage remain and these will be ready as soon as the roof is on.

Pat has helped me tonite install the old wood pot belly stove on the first floor and we have it hooked up and ready to go as soon as the weather turns cold. It's exceptionally warm tonight and while I have a coat on, my hands are not cold. I spend 3 more hours this evening preparing more drain lines and fittings for the 2nd floor bath and laundry. With a little cutting tomorrow, the plumbing drain lines will be complete over the kitchen area. I am beat...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nov 6th - Leaded Glass Windows

R. D. has opened up the crate that has been sitting for months and removed the first leaded glass windows from the crates. I remember months ago my neighbor Mark and I building the crates and then crating the windows in Iowa for the long journey to Colorado. At last they are ready to install and I am anxious to see how they look. First up is the octagon shaped window going in the 2nd floor bath. R. D. has to add the diagonal openings to the rough window opening before he can install the window into the opening. Soon it's up and it is amazing how much light the window refracts through the honey comb glass.

Bill and R.D. go to install the west loft windows which are made from old door transoms. One is emerald green glass and the opposite is ruby red glass. Originally they were installed horizontally above some exterior entrance doors from an old house in Richland, Iowa. Interesting how they originated in Richland and ended up in Rico (which means rich in Spanish).

Unfortunately, R. D. discovers a large crack in the emerald glass that grows larger once it's installed. The old wooden frames are actually made from walnut wood and I have kept the original paint on the outer frames. Once I see the crack and the two windows next to each other, I decide that the colored glass needs to be removed and clear, old style glass needs to be reinstalled. These two high windows I had designed to bring in some color high up in the loft on the 2nd floor. Now that I have added a 3rd level in the upper portion of the house, this new room requires more light anyway. I will plan on changing the glass at a later date.

Next we install the south kitchen leaded glass window. It's the first big window we install and weighs around 300 pounds. It takes 4 of us to get the window inside and into place. Next, R.D. has built a scaffold over the stairwell and this one is a little tougher as we have to lift it high on to a rolling scaffold and then slip it through a stud bay on the 3rd floor level. They all mount nicely and look superb. I couldn't be happier.

Towards the end of the day, we install the west facing leaded glass window into the north bedroom. Out on the pump jack I install the mounting screws while Greenbay, R.D. and Greenbay steady and level the window from the inside. One more to go in the west bedroom tomorrow.

Bill and I have spent a good part of the day completing all the straight lining and ripping of the heart pine decking which will go up later this week over the rafters in the master suite. Greenbay has been working on the oak blocking that he installs between rafters. It's especially tough as it's not nailable and so he ends up drilling and screwing the blocking in. Another job that requires all of our help is getting the 5 x 9"-16' long oak beam from ground level up 16' so that each end rests on the south and north walls of the master suite. It takes 5 of us to get the beam into the place.

Pat and Gary are still on the roof and have completed the steel installation on the south slope. They have moved down to the first floor and completed the steel roofing on the bay window in the dining room. Hagen is still on the roof and in the late afternoon completes the stone work on the north slope. It's covered up again and the heat turned on. Hopefully tomorrow we will get to remove his work platform and begin work on the north slope of the roof.